A Man's World? The Impact of a Male Dominated Environment on Female Leadership
81 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2018 Last revised: 7 Nov 2018
Date Written: July 3, 2018
Despite the significant growth in female labor force participation and educational attainment over the past decades, few women reach leadership positions. In this study, we explore whether male dominated environments, in and of themselves, adversely affect women´s willingness to lead a team. We find that women randomly assigned to male majority teams are less willing to become team leaders than women assigned to female majority teams. Analyses of potential mechanisms show that women in male majority teams are less confident in their relative performance, less influential, and more swayed by others in team discussions. They also (accurately) believe that they will receive less support from team members in a leadership election. Taken together, our results indicate that the absence of women in male dominated contexts may be a self-reinforcing process.
Keywords: leadership, gender differences, experiment
JEL Classification: C92, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation